AAUW Applauds Decision in Sun v. University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

July 29, 2014



Media Relations, media@aauw.org


Victory for AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund-Supported Plaintiff

WASHINGTON — The American Association of University Women (AAUW) applauds the recent decision by the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination (MCAD) in the case Sun v. University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Plaintiff Lulu Sun, who received case support from the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund, was awarded significant damages, including $200,000 for emotional distress.

Sun, an English professor, alleged sex and race discrimination in the promotion process at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. In 2011, an MCAD hearing officer ruled that the university had unlawfully discriminated against Sun by denying her application for promotion. The hearing officer ordered the university to promote Sun to full professor with retroactive pay, pay Sun emotional distress damages, pay the Commonwealth of Massachusetts a civil penalty, and conduct an eight-hour anti-discrimination training. The university appealed part of the hearing officer’s decision. In May 2014, the full commission upheld the initial ruling in Sun’s favor.

“AAUW is glad to see that Sun received vindication twice from MCAD and is proud to have played a part in supporting her case,” said AAUW CEO Linda D. Hallman, CAE. “The decision in her favor gives us hope that workplaces will one day be free from discrimination of any kind.”

The AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund has been crucial to the success of many gender discrimination cases during its 33-year history. The case-support program provides financial and organizational backing for plaintiffs challenging gender discrimination in education and the workplace. The funds come directly from the generous contributions of AAUW members.

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